Concert review: Passion Pit at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN — October 30, 2012
When I purchased tickets to Tuesday’s Passion Pit show at First Avenue it was with a sense of urgency to see them perform now, because at the time the future of Passion Pit looked a little shaky. Shortly after the release of their newest album, Gossamer, and a deeply personal interview with Pitchfork Passion Pit called off a string of dates citing Michael Angelakos’s mental health.
The troubles from months prior seemed like ancient history on Tuesday night; Angelakos thrived on the First Avenue stage, bouncing from side to side with his mic swinging in hand and encompassing an undeniable magnetism. The songs crafted by Angelakos and his fellow bandmates seem tailor made for a venue like First Avenue: exuberant electro-pop, grounded in darker lyrics, and polished off with choruses so catchy that its criminal not to sing along. Starting off the night with their newest single, Take A Walk, Passion Pit instantly had its hooks into the crowd. If you didn’t come to dance, it didn’t matter, because you were going to fucking dance. The tempo remained mostly fast through the remainder of their 75 minute set hitting high notes with To Kingdom Come and It’s Not My Fault I’m Happy before momentarily slowing for the soulful Constant Conversations. Angelakos seems more comfortable when his voice slips into the higher registers, less strained and more engaging than on Take A Walk. While the crowd was fully engaged throughout the set, it was a refreshing change not to see a sea of iPhone screens instagramming away, a point noted with much thanks by the band. However, if you were able to get a clear shot, you could get your Instagrams printed at the merch table.
I’ve had the good fortune to have seen some incredible artists across a broad spectrum in the past year (including Cat Power directly after this show) and I can safely say that no other group has come close to matching the energy that pulsed through downtown Minneapolis Tuesday night. I’ve seen vocally stronger artists, I’ve heard songs crafted by masterful lyricists, but none have just been as much damn fun as Passion Pit. If Tuesday night was any indication, Michael Angelakos seems to be winning his battle and I’ll be happily waiting in line for my next Passion Pit show.